DENVER (KDVR) — The COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 7,000 people in Colorado.
One Denver family is hoping to make Aug. 7 an annual day of remembrance for the ones we lost, called “Yellow Heart Memorials.” The memorials honor those that lost their lives to COVID-19. On Saturday, Denver had its first.
“It feels like the same day when I first had to say my goodbye to him, it was the hardest thing,” Desirae Garcia said, who lost her husband to the virus on Jan. 1. “I just want everyone to come together and support us, honor us.”
“When COVID-19 came, everything took a turn for the worse,” Amanda Myers told FOX31, who lost her grandfather early in the pandemic last year.
Losing someone to COVID-19 is what all the people gathered at Berkeley Park on Saturday had in common.
Garcia’s husband, Orlando, died one month after getting put on a ventilator. “That was the hardest part, was to watch him take his last breath,” she said.
Orlando’s name was among the many Coloradans written on a yellow heart display.
“We thought everything was getting better and then the next week he was put into isolation. We didn’t get to say goodbye, just saw him through a window,” Myers said. “It felt like my family had to suffer through this alone. There so many politics surrounding this, but it’s real people. It’s a real tragedy.”
As pandemic rules lift and life feels a bit normal again, it’s a bittersweet feeling only those that suffered loss seem to understand.
“I’m stuck. I want to be happy and live a normal life, but I can’t,” Garcia said. “I miss him and I get angry because the world is going back to normal, but he’s not here to enjoy it.”